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Cutting foam board from plans

jross

Well-known member
#1
Cut 3 small planes (nutball, flyer, delta) directly from tiled plans. Because they were simple planes, I can recycle the plans. My issue comes on the bigger builds like the Explorer I'm working on now. The score cuts turn the plans into confetti. I managed to print several full-sized plans on a plotter and have been transferring them to foam board by using a pin to mark junctions and corners. With the plans beside me I then connect the dots. Hoping to re-use the plans without chopping them up as access to the plotter is complicated, tiling is a PITA and I dislike creating garbage if I can help it.

My issue comes mostly with the channel for the A and B folds. It seems the pin hole method is not that accurate. The pin hole is 1 mm and if you're off on the channels by 1 mm, it fits poorly. Add to that the pin holes aren't always dead on the mark.

For marking curves, I've used the tip of a barbecue skewer to leave an indentation on the foam and follow that up by using a pencil to highlight the indentation I've left. Longer curves are easier to cut but shorter ones never look as nice as the laser-cut plans. No big deal.

I know the simplest technique for accurate cuts is to ditch my tree-hugger ways, reprint each time and cut the plans up.

What are your techniques for recycling plans with accurate cuts instead of making confetti? Am I being anal by trying to keep my plans in a full sheet and recycle? Any techniques for cutting smaller radius corners? Love to hear people's thoughts and tricks.
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#2
I print new plans for each build, but that's mainly because I don't normally build the same plane twice. The way I do it, it's still possible to use the plan for more than one build.

I print out A4 tiles and join them up, then I cut out all the shapes, leaving about 1cm extra around them. Next, I tape them to the foam-board with Scotch Magic tape, which can be unpeales afterwards. I cut through the paper plan and through the foam to make the shapes, but before they're totally cut out, I mark all the slots and fold lines by making cuts into the foam at the ends of the slots, which I can join with a rule after I've completed the outside shape and removed the paper. The paper shapes therefore remain intact and can be used again to cut spare parts for repairs.
 

Keno

Well-known member
#3
A lot of us print tile plans on card stock to make templates. Remember when you use the method cut on the inside of line it works pretty good
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#4
A lot of us print tile plans on card stock to make templates. Remember when you use the method cut on the inside of line it works pretty good
I'm still trying to get my head around the logic for that. I must be missing something. AFAICS, you have the extra expense of the card, then you have errors when you cut out the card and errors when you trace around it, plus you double the work in making the plane. Have I got that wrong? What are the advantages of using card because I can't see any?
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#5
Cut 3 small planes (nutball, flyer, delta) directly from tiled plans. Because they were simple planes, I can recycle the plans. My issue comes on the bigger builds like the Explorer I'm working on now. The score cuts turn the plans into confetti. I managed to print several full-sized plans on a plotter and have been transferring them to foam board by using a pin to mark junctions and corners. With the plans beside me I then connect the dots. Hoping to re-use the plans without chopping them up as access to the plotter is complicated, tiling is a PITA and I dislike creating garbage if I can help it.

My issue comes mostly with the channel for the A and B folds. It seems the pin hole method is not that accurate. The pin hole is 1 mm and if you're off on the channels by 1 mm, it fits poorly. Add to that the pin holes aren't always dead on the mark.

For marking curves, I've used the tip of a barbecue skewer to leave an indentation on the foam and follow that up by using a pencil to highlight the indentation I've left. Longer curves are easier to cut but shorter ones never look as nice as the laser-cut plans. No big deal.

I know the simplest technique for accurate cuts is to ditch my tree-hugger ways, reprint each time and cut the plans up.

What are your techniques for recycling plans with accurate cuts instead of making confetti? Am I being anal by trying to keep my plans in a full sheet and recycle? Any techniques for cutting smaller radius corners? Love to hear people's thoughts and tricks.
I do it pretty much exactly the same as you. For the curves I just put a pin hole every 1/2 inch or so along the curve then, when the paper is removed, freehand cut the curve.

For the trenches for the folds I also use the pin hole approach but I like the @d8veh approach of marking these with a blade cut.

DamoRC
 

Keno

Well-known member
#6
I print new plans for each build, but that's mainly because I don't normally build the same plane twice. The way I do it, it's still possible to use the plan for more than one build.

I print out A4 tiles and join them up, then I cut out all the shapes, leaving about 1cm extra around them. Next, I tape them to the foam-board with Scotch Magic tape, which can be unpeales afterwards. I cut through the paper plan and through the foam to make the shapes, but before they're totally cut out, I mark all the slots and fold lines by making cuts into the foam at the ends of the slots, which I can join with a rule after I've completed the outside shape and removed the paper. The paper shapes therefore remain intact and can be used again to cut spare parts for repairs.
I have no idea ask the SPONZ. I only said many not all
 
#7
I make card stock templates for every plane I build. It's real PITA the first time around but I'm able to trace out a new plane the second time pretty quickly. I mark all the cuts on the side and do a few pinholes (as few as possible) and then make any needed trace lines and cut the score lines. Once this is all done, I proceed to cut the part out. I work really hard to make the pin holes it as accurate as possible. I haven't had any problems fitting pieces together. The card stock templates work pretty well because they're so stiff and easy to store. I can trace out a new plane or part very quickly.

Just what works for me, I'm newer to RC planes and crash a fair amount. Printing and taping plans each time for me would take forever.
 

Attachments

jross

Well-known member
#9
I do it pretty much exactly the same as you. For the curves I just put a pin hole every 1/2 inch or so along the curve then, when the paper is removed, freehand cut the curve.

For the trenches for the folds I also use the pin hole approach but I like the @d8veh approach of marking these with a blade cut.

DamoRC
I also like @d8veh's approach with the knife. I was looking at the "pin" I use today and it's a thumb tack with the larger plastic head. I'd probably get better results using a sewing pin or finer needle.

Thanks for everyone's input. I love how everyone develops their own style. Nice to be able to pick the handiest ideas and incorporate them.
 

jross

Well-known member
#10
I print new plans for each build, but that's mainly because I don't normally build the same plane twice. The way I do it, it's still possible to use the plan for more than one build.

I print out A4 tiles and join them up, then I cut out all the shapes, leaving about 1cm extra around them. Next, I tape them to the foam-board with Scotch Magic tape, which can be unpeales afterwards. I cut through the paper plan and through the foam to make the shapes, but before they're totally cut out, I mark all the slots and fold lines by making cuts into the foam at the ends of the slots, which I can join with a rule after I've completed the outside shape and removed the paper. The paper shapes therefore remain intact and can be used again to cut spare parts for repairs.
I've been looking at some of the plans and just watched some of the Sea Angel build. I don't think there's any way to build that plane nicely without cutting up plans. So I guess it's a compromise. Recycle the easy ones. Chop up the difficult ones and recycle the paper. Thrift only takes you so far when trying to be accurate on more complex builds. Sometimes I'm so Scottish, I shock myself.
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#11
I know the simplest technique for accurate cuts is to ditch my tree-hugger ways, reprint each time and cut the plans up.
I'm all into recycling myself. I believe in it. A family of three and we have maybe one household bag of trash a week. Not the big fifty-gallon ones, like yard trash, just the little bag that fits in your kitchen trash container. We've also got two very full bins (sometimes overflowing) of recycling. In this hobby we are, however marking plans onto a form of styrofoam. For all intents and purposes, it doesn't decay. Just another good reason to hang them on your wall.

I like printing the plans, tiled on cardstock. Using Sponz's plans it's not that big a deal to mate the pages together and tape and cut them. Once the templates are cut out, I like having the hard edge of cardstock to help guide my cutting blade. I am just taping the templates to the foamboard and cutting. In my unskilled hands, it's working for me.

Thus far, everything discarded has gone into a box. The Box. I've been able to reuse many of the templates when I screwed something up. I just went into The Box and pulled it out. Some I've had to reprint. It's paper. It recycles.

The only real waste is the foamboard. I honestly don't have much left over of that, and none has gone into the trash bin as of yet. I say don't drop your "tree hugger ways." Recognize where waste is created, recycle if at all possible, and reuse what can be. That which cannot? Recycle. If it can't be recycled, at least as far as building foamboard planes in my experience has gone, I really think it's going to be very little. Except for the foamboard plane after it's been destroyed. I've no answer for that one other than to hang it.
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#12
I'm going to throw a spanner (wrench) in the works concerning arguments about cost and waste. The card is basically 4 thicknesses of paper and it costs 4 times as much at least. Add the one you printed, means 5 times as much paper and cost of materials and waste in off-cuts and final disposal, so from a waste point of view, the break-even point is 5 planes made from the one plan. If you make 6, card is better, but 4 or less, paper wins.

From a cost point of view the argument hinges on the cost of printing. Some printers use very expensive printer ink, but some of us (one at least) use laser printers that make very cheap prints when you buy surplus cartridges from Ebay. Every person would have a different print cost, so you'd need to do your own caculations, but if you make only one plane from the plan, cutting the foam directly through the paper will always win for cost, time, convenience and accuracy.

I used the card method for making my first FT plane (Simple Scout). I have the templates faithfully stored in my filing cabinet; however, it's with a sad heart that I have to say, that they most likely will languish there until I have a clearout, never to fulfil their purpose in the future, as I have no reason to build another Scout:cry:. It was a forlorn effort!
 

Keno

Well-known member
#13
I only made a statement of fact. I believe jross has formed his own opinion how to proceed. Please use own philosophy on environmental issues that supports your interest. A question was asked with answers opinion offered. Thanks all and Happy flying jross.
Edit: Forum 101?
 
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Bricks

Well-known member
#14
On planes I know I am going to have to rebuild or parts such as the Bloody Baron for combat, I print the plans tape them together and put them on poster board and cut them out. Now I have a reusable template and for score cuts servo outlines etc. I use a pin to mark the lines on the templates which gets transferred to the foam board. For goodness gracious we are using foam board not like we are building a $600 dollar balsa plane, a foam board plane will never come out perfect.
 
#15
I too use pins for all inside score cuts. Since these are usually straight lines, I then put "T" pins in the pin holes and place a metal ruler against the pins. Now it's easy to cut along the line with a scoring cut. Plans stay intact and can be re-used.
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#17
I only made a statement of fact. I believe jross has formed his own opinion how to proceed. Please use own philosophy on environmental issues that supports your interest. A question was asked with answers opinion offered. Thanks all and Happy flying jross.
Edit: Forum 101?
Keno, why are you so bothered? Not only is this a forum for learning how to get RC planes into the air, it is a forum of family. WE are part of the FT family, and on this forum we can talk like it.

If you look at the post I was replying to, it was prior to jross forming his opinion. Then other's with their opinions replied to my post. Stuff happens. Nobody is busting on anybody or trying to steal their thunder. For myself, I was just trying to answer his internal questions concerning environmental impact. I don't think jross has to leave his "tree hugging ways" to enjoy this hobby. So I answered with my experience that there really isn't that much waste. d8veh then replied with his opinion on the subject. Then jross apparently answered it himself.

I don't usually read a whole thread and then go back and comment. I comment on a post when I come across it. It's all good. We're family.

I also agree: "Happy flying jross!"
 

Keno

Well-known member
#19
Keno, why are you so bothered? Not only is this a forum for learning how to get RC planes into the air, it is a forum of family. WE are part of the FT family, and on this forum we can talk like it.

If you look at the post I was replying to, it was prior to jross forming his opinion. Then other's with their opinions replied to my post. Stuff happens. Nobody is busting on anybody or trying to steal their thunder. For myself, I was just trying to answer his internal questions concerning environmental impact. I don't think jross has to leave his "tree hugging ways" to enjoy this hobby. So I answered with my experience that there really isn't that much waste. d8veh then replied with his opinion on the subject. Then jross apparently answered it himself.

I don't usually read a whole thread and then go back and comment. I comment on a post when I come across it. It's all good. We're family.

I also agree: "Happy flying jross!"
I am not bother at all. However n8veh quote me expressing his/her opinion appearing to lecture. What you don't know is I was composing my original statement prior to his post and therefore unaware he had posted. While I am writing this answer to your question another post can be posted above mine and I would never know that until I pushed the reply button. Please I feel bad about using the forum 101 to talk this out as there are other forums that would be more appropriate. Thanks Bussbomb for expressing you views. Happy flying
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#20
I am not bother at all. However n8veh quote me expressing his/her opinion appearing to lecture. What you don't know is I was composing my original statement prior to his post and therefore unaware he had posted. While I am writing this answer to your question another post can be posted above mine and I would never know that until I pushed the reply button. Please I feel bad about using the forum 101 to talk this out as there are other forums that would be more appropriate. Thanks Bussbomb for expressing you views. Happy flying
It's all good.